Thursday, July 28, 2016

- Kevin Williamson And Donald Trump

Peter Dinklage, the actor who plays Tyrion Lannister on HBO's Game of Thrones, is short. He's very short. He's exceptionally short. He knows he's short, and everyone who knows who he is, also knows it. It takes very little persuasive ability to convince people that he's short. "Just look at him." is usually all it takes. Going to great lengths to convince people of his shortness (which I hope I have not quite done here) seems mean spirited and pointless. To bother to do so at all says far more about the person speaking than it does about Peter Dinklage.

Kevin Williamson is not short. He's a little on the bulky side, but much less than he used to be, and is actually looking pretty good lately, his genetics and past habits taken into full consideration. The shaved head is a style thing and wouldn't work for me, but I personally think he pulls it off. Unless you're the kind of person who likes to root around in childhood psychology issues (I very much am not) none of that tells you anything important about Kevin Williamson, and spending a lot of time talking about his looks would be mean spirited and pointless. It would say far more about the person speaking than it does about Kevin Williamson.

If you want to understand Kevin Williamson, the thing you need to look at is his intelligence. He's blisteringly smart. He pokes fun at himself and his 'English Major Math" but his facility with words far more than makes up for his lack of comfort with differential calculus. He's a first rate writer, with a sound philosophy regarding politics and the role of American government. And he has many many useful and productive things to say on that score. He's probably no good at running a marathon or competitive swimming, but he's good at what he does. And like Peter Dinklage and the rest of us, he's chosen a path in life that makes the most of his strengths.

That's why I think this piece is beneath him.

He's telling us that Donald Trump is a vain shallow man with a dubious record on honesty. If you don't already know this about Donald Trump, it can only be because you're unwilling to accept it. It's obvious at altitude, and whether that makes him a worse human being than say Barak Obama (who is likewise vain, shallow, and dishonest), is subject to individual opinion and individual values. If you're one of those people who thinks Peter Dinklage is tall, there really isn't any amount of talk that will convince you, and the same is true of the obvious faults in Donald Trumps character. Kevin knows this, but by continuing to relate the details in such a painstaking way, he makes himself not Trump seem mean spirited and pointless. There are more productive ways for a man like him to use his time.

And though it pains me personally to write this, at this point I think it says far more about Kevin Williamson than it does about Donald Trump.


Blegoo said...

Since I admire K.W. writings, I went to read the column. Did't keep up with NRO lately - it's becoming a brocken record (never trump•never trump•never trump mantra is getting a little stale).

Kevin is a great writer, in the realm of short political pieces. Personally, I don't agree with his opinions (most of the time) but I think you're picking up on him unjustly in this instance.

It seem to me that that column is about (in unequal measures - Kevin being Kevin) Hillary and Donald viewed as wannabe aristocrats - I thought it was a fresh angle to see the contenders to the "throne" of presidency.

While I agree that K.W. has a clear and distinct dislike of Donald Trump, I don't think he deserve your scolding in this particular case.

My 2.

VV said...

Isn't that Tom's point? Yeah, we know that they want to be aristocrats. The gold plating was visible to all of us, just like his kids name. It isn't an insight at this point.

Looks like KW wants to reserve the right to say I told you so. I also don't see a point in a conservative outlet keep writing this stuff.

Blegoo said...

@VV: Tom's point - as far as I read was:
"That's why I think this piece is beneath him."

I happen to disagree and I put forward some arguments.

Wether K.W. reserve the right to say "I told you so" is debatable, AFAIK. My take on the column is not as serios as yours or Tom's. I bet you some hundreds that if you ask KW, he will confirm my theory.

NRO ceased to be a conservative place long time ago - my opinion - you are free to disagree, obviously.